For many active job candidates, their first exposure to your company will be a job description surfaced by a keyword search, and yours won’t be the only one they find. How will your company stack up against the competition? Are your job descriptions written with your audience of qualified job seekers in mind?
To encourage qualified candidates to apply for roles with your company, your job descriptions need to achieve a trifecta. Each job listing should be accurate, inclusive, and engaging. Otherwise, you may be losing good candidates due to bad copy, writes corporate recruiter Anatoly Denisov.
Five keys to a winning job ad
How can you craft a job description that gets the job filled? Here are our top 5 tips:
1. Use an industry-standard title to describe the role.
Your job description should contain language that conveys your company’s personality and culture, but not in the job title. List your job with a title containing the keywords that qualified candidates are using to search for similar roles.
Don’t try to include every relevant keyword in your titles though. According to Appcast’s 2019 Recruitment Media Benchmark Report, ads with short job titles consisting of three words or less had the highest apply rates.
2. Tell job seekers what they want to know.
Job seekers want to know how much a potential job will pay before they invest time in considering it. A 2018 Glassdoor study found that while other factors matter, money remains the number one motivator for 67% of job seekers.
What else do job seekers want to know? They want information about the non-cash benefits your company offers and where the job is located.
3. State clear but realistic expectations for the role.
If there are qualifications that every applicant must have to be considered for your job, state them in the job description. A clear statement of your minimum requirements allows job seekers to quickly determine whether or not they are a good fit for the position. When describing the necessary qualifications, be sure to include all essential job functions.
In contrast, limit the number of preferred qualifications you include in your job descriptions. “When writing a job description, jettison anything that might filter out quality people,” writes “Dear Founder” author, Maynard Webb.
Including non-essential requirements may limit your candidate pool by discouraging job seekers who are reluctant to apply for roles for which they aren’t a 100% match.
4. Introduce your company, but keep it short.
Your company’s culture and values matter to prospective employees but this information should be readily available from other sources. Interested candidates will seek out those sources before deciding to join your organization. So, do introduce your company’s culture, values, and vision in your job description but don’t let it take up too much space. Job seekers are focused on other priorities when reading your job listings.
The best job description attracts every qualified candidate
5. Craft a compelling story.
In today’s employment market it pays to use every tool at your disposal to attract the right candidates for your open positions, including adding some marketing magic to your organization’s job ads.
When crafting a candidate-facing job description, go beyond the formal job description crafted by your HR and/or compliance departments. Create a job description that tells your company’s story but includes the candidate as its main character.
“Candidates want opportunities because of the excitement and challenge of the work,” writes Jan Johnston Osburn in Is Your Job Description a Source of Hiring Mistakes? “Explain what success looks like” in the position, advises Osburn.
Tell job seekers what their day-to-day activities will be, how they will interact with other team members and departments, and how their work will contribute to your organization’s goals. Share the positives, as well as the negatives, of the job and explain the opportunities for professional growth and development it offers.
Make each job description’s impact a positive one for your organization
The best job description isn’t one that attracts every job seeker, it is one that attracts every qualified job seeker. Clear, compelling language that states both what you need and what you have to offer will help you improve your candidate funnel and find the best person for the job. Want to learn more about attracting top talent? Carmen Hire is here to help. Get in touch to find out how we can help you find the talent you need.